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Mr. Philip Hammond: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many items placed with mail carriers for delivery by HM Revenue and Customs in the last 12 months did not reach their intended destination. 
Mr. Dai Davies: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer with reference to the answer to the hon. Member for Fareham (Mr. Hoban) of 29 October 2007, Official Report, column 905W, on HM Revenue and Customs: security, if he will disaggregate the 2,111 reported breaches of security recorded between HM Revenue and Customs various offices. 
Angela Eagle: Following the publication of the report of the Committee to Study Long Term Financing of the IMF in January 2007, which made a number of recommendations on the IMF's income model, including on gold sales, we expect the new IMF managing director, Dominique Straus-Kahn, to make a comprehensive proposal on IMF income and expenditure to the executive board ahead of the IMF spring meeting in April. Any proposed gold sales would require a 85 per cent. vote in favour by the members of the IMF. The UK Government believe that any sales of gold should take place in an orderly way, phased overtime, and within the bounds set by official sellers of gold in recent years so as to avoid disruption to the gold market.
Angela Eagle: Treasury will not be issuing a formal response to the Lyons inquiry. Sir Michael Lyons report set out a wide-ranging analysis of local government and local government finance and many of his recommendations have, and will continue to, inform the ongoing development of Government policy.
Mr. Carmichael: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer when he will reply to the letter from the hon. Member for Orkney and Shetland on his Departments consideration of preferential rates of fuel duty in rural and remote areas. 
Angela Eagle: A response to the Miles recommendation on the treatment of stand-alone interest rate insurance was given in Budget 2005 stating the Government stood ready to engage with firms considering entering the market. This is still the position and we welcome discussions with such firms.
The Housing Finance Review is also considering any remaining barriers to the efficient supply of mortgage finance. This includes investigating innovative financial products which help borrowers manage their housing-related risks. The review team remain engaged with the industry and will take into account their comments when making recommendations. The review will report its findings at Budget 2008.
Mr. Pickles: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what estimate he has made of the (a) mean and (b) median change in business rates per empty property in the first full year of operation of the reduced levels of business rate tax relief for empty properties. 
Sammy Wilson: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many fuel laundering plants have been closed by HM Revenue and Customs and the police in Northern Ireland in the last 12 months; and how many arrests have been made in respect of these actions. 
Jane Kennedy: In Northern Ireland, in the period January 2007 to date, a total of eight laundering plants have been dismantled by HM Revenue and Customs and five arrests were made in relation to these operations. HM Revenue and Customs are solely responsible for dealing with fuel laundering plants, and any that are initially detected by the Police Service Northern Ireland are immediately referred to HMRC for action.
Mr. Pickles: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what procurement guidance the Office of Government Commerce has produced for local authorities, on the purchase of receptacles for the collection of household rubbish. 
Norman Baker: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what research his Department has carried out into the long-term economic impact on the UK of the reduction of oil and gas supplies from the North Sea. 
Angela Eagle: The UK still has significant oil and gas resources. While some 37 billion barrels of oil equivalent (boe) have been produced to date, estimates of the hydrocarbons remaining to be produced from the UK Continental Shelf (UKCS) range from 16 to 25 billion boe(1). As set out most recently in Securing a sustainable future: a consultation on the North Sea Fiscal Regime, the Government are committed to maximising the economic recovery of hydrocarbons from the UK Continental Shelf.
(1) Source: May 2007 Energy White Paper, page 109.
Mr. Pickles: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how much (a) his Department, (b) the Valuation Office Agency and (c) HM Revenue and Customs has spent on research, consultancy and preparation costs for the Planning Gain Supplement. 
The Treasury, HM Revenue and Customs, and Communities and Local Government have undertaken preliminary work to develop and explore the feasibility of a Planning-gain Supplement since 2004. This has included the publication of one consultation document alongside the 2005 pre-Budget report and three consultation documents alongside the
2006 pre-Budget report. The costs incurred have been borne by the respective Departments as part of the normal policy development process.
Mr. Meacher: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how much public expenditure he estimates there will be as a result of private finance initiative programmes (a) in place and (b) planned in each year from 2008 to 2060. 
Angela Eagle: The future profile of estimated unitary charge payments for signed PFI projects is published alongside each Budget and pre-Budget report. At PBR/CSR 2007 this projection was printed at Table 19 of PBR/CSR 2007: the economy and public financessupplementary charts and tables. This document is available from the Treasury website at:
This covers projects up to 2032-33; it is not possible to predict the payments for future projects, which have not yet been signed, as the value of the unitary charge payments is subject to negotiation during the procurement process.
Mr. Pickles: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what meetings the Valuation Office Agency has had with (a) the Valuation and Lands Agency (including its new successor agency), (b) the Scottish Assessors Association and (c) the Irish Republics Valuation Office, in the last 12 months; and on what dates. 
Jane Kennedy: Representatives of the Valuation Office Agency and of the organisations listed meet regularly to discuss valuation issues and practices common to the public sector, inter alia in the light of evolving case law.
Mr. Pickles: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will place in the Library a copy of (a) the Valuation Office Agencys and (b) HM Revenue and Customs internal staff handbook or guidance on data security. 
Mr. Pickles: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what the value was of bonuses paid to staff by the Valuation Office Agency in each of the last five years; and how many payments were made in each year. 
|Number of staff receiving bonus payments||Total value of payments (£)|
For 2005 and 2006 it introduced a recognition payments voucher scheme to recognise any instance of special effort or performanceover and above the normal day-to-day expectations for a persons role: such payments could be made at any time and were not linked to the pay system.
Mr. Pickles: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many staff have been seconded to the Valuation Office Agency in the last 12 months; from which outside bodies; and what the length is of each secondment. 
one from the Australian Valuation Office for six months
one from the Hong Kong Rating and Valuation Department for six months
Mr. Pickles: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many staff have been seconded to the Valuation Office Agency from outside central Government in the last 36 months; from which outside bodies; and for what period of time. 
Mr. Pickles: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will place in the Library a copy of the Valuation Office Agencys (a) eLearning dwelling house coding module and (b) Quick Guide to DWH Coding. 
A copy of (a) the e-learning dwelling house coding module will be placed in the Library of
the House. The (b) Quick Guide to dwelling house coding is available on the Valuation Office Agency website at:
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